Marjorie Taylor Greene Says She’ll Force Vote to Oust Johnson

Marjorie Taylor Greene Says She’ll Force Vote to Oust Johnson

USA Today Network

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene announced Wednesday that she will force a vote next week on her motion to oust Speaker Mike Johnson, even as her odds of succeeding appear to be nil. Republican leaders are reportedly prepared to defuse Greene’s threat via a procedural move to table her motion, with help from House Democratic leaders who pledged yesterday to help block the Georgia congresswoman’s revolt.

Greene, however, said she is undeterred. At a morning news conference outside the Capitol, she lambasted the Republican establishment and said Johnson had abandoned his conservative principles. “Once he became speaker, he has become a man that none of us recognize,” she said. “He passed three continuing resolutions and then he finally, finally passed a two-part omnibus [spending package] that fully funded Joe Biden’s agenda and the Democrat agenda.”

Greene went on to detail a list of ways that she believes Johnson has betrayed Republicans, placing a blue “MUGA” hat — for “Make Ukraine Great Again” — on a photo of the speaker and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries. She said she would give Johnson another weekend to consider resigning and then would press for a recorded vote on the speaker’s future. “I think every member of Congress needs to take that vote and let the chips fall where they may,” she said, adding, “I can’t wait to see Democrats go out and support a Republican speaker and have to go home to their primaries and have to run for Congress again having supported a Republican speaker, a ‘Christian conservative.’”

Greene also argued her fight against Johnson is about helping Donald Trump, who has publicly backed Johnson, and about ensuring Republicans control the House when some 2017 tax cuts are scheduled to expire at the end of 2025. “Your taxes are going to go up if Democrats control the House,” she said. “You know President Trump’s tax cuts and savings plan? Guess what, it expires [next] year, and whoever controls the House of Representatives — if it’s Mike Johnson and Hakeem Jeffries holding hands together, your taxes are going up, ladies and gentlemen.”

Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, who is supporting Greene’s motion and stood at her side at Wednesday’s news conference, called on Johnson to resign and accused the speaker of three betrayals: failing to pass individual spending bills, voting to allow the renewal of a warrantless surveillance program and pushing ahead with a $95 billion foreign aid package.

Massie also echoed Greene in saying it was important to get members on the record about Johnson, even as other Republicans say this isn’t the right time to challenge the speaker. “The main thing that we’ll get out next week, if we don’t succeed, is a list — a list that people can use when they go to vote in primaries and general elections, both on the Democrat side and the Republican side,” Massie later told CNN.

Johnson responded with a short statement: “This motion is wrong for the Republican Conference, wrong for the institution, and wrong for the country.” Johnson has repeatedly described Greene as a friend even as she pushed for his ouster in recent days, but in a new interview with NewsNation’s “The Hill,” he responded to the mention of her name by saying, “bless her heart” — a polite Southern equivalent of giving her the middle finger.

Asked if Greene is a serious lawmaker, Johnson was dismissive. “I don’t think she’s proving to be, no,” he said. “I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about her. I’ve got to do my job, and we do the right thing and we let the chips fall where they may. That’s my philosophy. That’s how we’re governing.”

He said vacating the speaker’s chair and launching another fight over the gavel was the opposite of what Republicans want to accomplish.

What’s next: Once Greene formally calls for a vote on her motion, House Republican leaders will have to schedule a vote within two days, but they’ll look to preempt any action with a motion to table, which Democrats would support. If that motion to table somehow fails, a final vote on Johnson’s fate would follow.